The Insanity of Using Drugs

The Insanity of Using Drugs


The insanity of using drugs is often described like this in the 12 step programs of AA and NA: “Doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.”  They say that because we know that our using leads to bad consequences, we as addicts are insane because we think we can somehow use drugs again and control it this time without going overboard like we always do.

Of course the mind of the addict will try a new angle, some new twist on how to regulate their drug intake so that they do not lose control again, and then they will make another try at it.  We claim that we are not insane because we argue that “deep down, we can control our drug use if we really wanted to, we just don’t want to.”  And now that we have screwed up and lost control for the millionth time, we are now going to finally decide to control our drug use for real, and we are going to use this new twist on things in order to change our drug habit slightly and now we will be able to control it this time because now we really want to, and before we were not even really trying to control it.  And of course, the person with this line of thinking goes ahead and starts using drugs again, with their new system and their slight twist to make things different so that they think they will be able to control it this time, and of course it does not work and they eventually lose control and are right back at square one.

My creation... is complete!!! (#75/365)
Creative Commons License photo credit: Sebastian Anthony

We fool ourselves because we do have small successes.  Every addict and alcoholic has had a day here and there where they used a reasonable amount of drugs and alcohol and they were relatively happy and well medicated that day, and yet they did not go overboard and lose control.  They were happy and they were using a reasonable amount and there were no problems.  And the insanity is that the addict will hang on to that memory and use it as justification for their repeated experiments with more drug use.  They will hang on to that one day when they had fun and could control their using, while ignoring the dozens of times when they lost control with their using and created huge problems.  They are also ignoring all of the times when they were completely miserable because they did not use any or enough drugs in order to be happy with themselves.

Just another example of insane thinking in an addict.

So how do we realize our own insanity and overcome it?  How do we break through our denial?

1) Check into rehab and allow yourself time to get detoxed.  It is then that you can best look back and see what your life has become.  Slow down enough to gain perspective.

2) Really listen to what other people are telling you and consider the possibility that they are not all against you.

3) Ask yourself: “Am I really happy using drugs?  How often?  How much of the time?”

You break through denial when you admit that you are miserable as a drug addict.